Civil society groups in Chad claim some of their leaders have been arrested after police fired tear gas Saturday to disperse street protesters against President Idriss Deby’s nomination for a sixth term in office.
The protests coincided with the Congress of the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement, which gave Deby, 68, the nod for tenure elongation.
The party controls the parliament, which last year awarded Deby the rank of Field Marshal for his “fight against terrorism” in Central and West Africa.
Presidential Election is due in Chad on April 11, and his opponents have accused him of changing the constitution in 2018 to enable him remain in power until 2033.
Deby seized power in 1990 and his government propped up by France the formal colonial power is also an ally of EU governments and in the fight against ISIS, terrorism and Jihadist insurrections in the Sahel region after the killing of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi by Western powers in 2011
Under a neo-colonial defence pact France has a military base Chad, and the opposition groups in the Central African country have accused Paris of carrying out military aur strikes against rebel groups fighting Deby under the guise of fighting the terrorists.
Chad, with four other former French colonies, Mauritania, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, belong to the Group of five countries known as G5 Sahel fighting terrorism with international support.
But the coalition has not ended terrorist attacks continue in the region.
Alhough rich in oil, Chad with an estimated 13 million people is one the world’s poorest countries, with the N’djamena government also accused of corruption, nepotism, human rights violations and bad governance.
Deby’s compatriot Moussa Faki, who also enjoys tremendous French support, was re-elected Chairperson of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa on Saturday.
African civil society groups have criticized the process that led to his emergence as the sole candidate in an organization with 55 countries of a combined population of 1.3 billion.
The civil society groups also accuse the continental organization of being grossly ineffective.